The Bible in Congregational and Community Life

The following video and audio recordings are from public presentations made at Luther Seminary. They explore the Bible—how to read it, how to interpret it, how it functions in the life of a community of faith, and how it helps believers engage with the wider world.

Play video Eugene PetersonEugene Peterson
“The Possibility”
Book of Faith Jubilee
August 15, 2009

 

Play video Denna ThompsonDeanna Thompson
“The Response”
Book of Faith Jubilee
August 15, 2009

 

Play video David AndersonDavid Anderson
“The Challenge”
Book of Faith Jubilee
August 14, 2009

 

Play video Terrence FretheimTerence Fretheim
“The Bible and Natural Disasters”
Midwinter Convocation
January 14, 2009

God’s relationship to the world by means of natural disaster is a topic for the front burner. In an age where Christianity continues to seek innovative means of drawing others into Christian faith, Dr. Terence Fretheim points out how this issue ignites many conflicts, often hindering the mission of the church. Fretheim takes up the stories of the great flood and Job, both examples of natural disaster intertwined with the divine will. These stories cause Fretheim to bring up very human questions, asking, “If our God cares so much for all creatures, why didn’t God create a world where there were no natural disasters?” and “One is given to wonder why such a world is called good. Can ‘good’ include natural disasters?”

 

Play video Walter brueggemannWalter Brueggemann
“That Majestic Theme”
Midwinter Convocation
January 14, 2009

Brueggemann begins with “that majestic theme” of the Bible and its gospel discussed for the sake of the world. His focus is on the Exodus narrative, which often gives readers pause to wonder why this passage is an important piece of salvation history. Brueggemann wonders, “Can you get a rule out of the story?” Brueggemann quotes scripture from Exodus. Pharaoh commands more bricks and, as Brueggemann points out, in business these quotas are a farce. Once you meet quota, the quota increases. The workload increases unto exhaustion and failure.

 

Play video Terrence FretheimTerence Fretheim
“Job’s Suffering, Natural Disasters, and the Will of God”
Midwinter Convocation
January 15, 2009

In the face of tsunamis, hurricanes, forest fires, earthquakes and other natural disasters that damage the planet and its creatures, what can we say about God? Fretheim takes a look back at the creation story and the story of Job for clues to the nature of God's relationship with the world. Human suffering from natural disasters is part of the price of living in God’s created world, Fretheim says. Yet the Bible tells us that the world as God created it—natural disasters and all— is good.

 

Play video Walter BrueggemannWalter Brueggemann
“Holiness as a Ground for Knowing Mercy”
Midwinter Convocation
January 15, 2009

Brueggemann plays the role of storyteller as he uses the book of Daniel to paint a picture of God’s faithfulness. Brueggemann posits that Daniel could be so bold because he took care to preserve himself as God had instructed him. Relating the story to today’s society, Brueggemann says we face a crisis of easy accommodation that pulls us away from God and his mercy. “In our world there is an ideology of consumerism, of insecurity, that these other things will make us well. It would not hurt us to ask, ‘What kind of food does the empire offer us? What are we nourishing ourselves with today?’”

 

Play video Walter Brueggemann and Terrence FretheimTerence Fretheim and Walter Brueggemann
Panel Discussion
Midwinter Convocation
January 16, 2009

The major theme of the questions put to Fretheim and Brueggemann is “What does God have to do with me?” The first question raised wonders about the relationship to and experience of God to our living in this dangerous and messy world. “How do you see the role of God in any way as being exceptional, where God intervenes and seeks to effect some purpose?” For this question and others, Fretheim and Brueggemann respond carefully and thoughtfully on the theme of human agency and God’s presence in the world.

 

Play video Mark Allan PowellMark Allan Powell
“The Promise and Peril of Polyvalence”
Midwinter Convocation
January 13, 2010

 

Play video Mark Allan PowellMark Allan Powell
“Word of God as Transforming Power: The Potential for Scripture to Shape Communities and Change Lives”
Midwinter Convocation
January 14, 2010

 

play video Mike HousHolderMike Housholder
“Watering the World: Biblical Fluency and Hundredfold Returns”
Midwinter Convocation
January 13, 2010

 

play video Mary Hinkle ShoreMary Hinkle Shore
“Worship as Welcome into Scripture’s Story”
Midwinter Convocation
January 14, 2010

 

play video of Mary Hinkle Shore, Mark HousHolder, Mark Allan PowellMike Housholder, Mark Allan Powell, and Mary Hinkle Shore
Panel Discussion
Midwinter Convocation
January 15, 2010